Update on nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Northern Israel

A. Kuten, Y. Cohen, R. Lavie, J. Dale, M. Ben Arush, H. Goldberg, M. Stein

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17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Because Israel is one of the world's intermediate risk areas for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), we continue to analyze retrospectively all referred cases. Patients and Methods: We previously reported our work with 49 NPC patients, and we now extend our analysis to include an additional 26 patients. All our 75 patients were treated between 1968 and 1991 at the Northern Israel Oncology Center in Haifa. They were typical in the preponderance of male sex (74%), Mediterranean origin (80%) and late stage presentation (91%). All patients received a combination of photon and electron radiotherapy to the tumor site, base of skull and neck, with an average dose to the nasopharynx of 6095 cGy. Nearly 40% of the patients received combined modality treatment (CMT), i.e., cisplatin-based chemotherapy prior to radiotherapy. Results: There was an overall complete response (CR) of 88%, with 44% of the patients experiencing recurrence. Serious complications occurred in 5%. We found a 5-year survival rate of 48% and a 10-year survival rate of 44%, with some indication that CMT was advantageous to later-stage patients with non-keratinizing histologies, but not to earlier stages nor to those with keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Pediatric patients had better survival rates. Conclusions: 1. The somewhat better survival performance of Arabs and Sephardic Jews may reflect their greater tendency to have the non-keratinizing histological variants (lymphoepithelioma and undifferentiated carcinoma). 2. Ethnicity was consistently prognostic, both as risk and survival factors. 3. The role of CMT in advanced non-keratinizing NPC should be explored in future randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-570
Number of pages6
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


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